11 April 2009

Out to sea - Rhys and me

In 1964 my favourite music was by Little Walter, Howlin Wolf, SonnyBoy Williamson and Junior Wells. How does this come about in a baby girl in rural Victoria? Via The Beatles and the Rolling Stones mentioning those artists in press interviews of course.
By 1966 I was in the big city and 'Rhythm and Blues' was the Mod musical currency. Soul baby.

So yesterday, 43 years later, enthralled by the 129 wonderful minutes of The Boat That Rocked, and recognising two bars of Junior Wells's 'Snatch It Back And Hold It' ... underscoring a plot point perfectly, I just felt 17 again

Mods Gods featured in this film -
All Day And All Of The Night - Dave & Ray Davies
Friday On My Mind - Easybeats (Vanda & Young)
We Gotta Get Outta This Town - Eric Burdon & The Animals
For Your Love -The YardBirds
Dancin In The Street - Martha & The Vandellas
These Arms Of Mine - Otis
Christmas (Baby Please Come Home) -Darlene Love
The Stones - Lets Spend The Night Together,
Jimi Hendrix,
and of course Miss Dusty Springfield.

To me, a negative Movie Show review is just a challenge.
Xan somebody reviewing for The Guardian called it 'pallid'.
Variety-the-showbiz-bible, said it was 'too long'.
None of them was a hip Mod teen in Melbourne 1966.
The Boat That Rocked was wonderful.
Nighy was wonderful.
Rhys Ifans was wonderful.
The music was wonderful.
The editing was too.
The 129 minutes not too long for anybody who first heard all that music when it was in it's chronological cultural context. Please do treat yourself to this film, and don't waste your money by expecting it to be a documentary, as it is in the mold of an Ealing comedy, the popular cinema of that era. It has a nod to Richard Lester's Sixties cinema-style. You will recognise that dippy secretary of Doc Martin's in it, it has Ken Branagh positively CHANNELLING Ealing comedy-era Peter Sellers characterisation in
I'm Alright Jack-
Ken is cast as the meanie again - he was the bad guy in the St.Trinian's film - is it because nobody likes him?

Did I mention that Rhys Ifans and Philip Seymour Hoffman give us Academy Award-winning performances?.
Rhys may have been catalytically-converting his angst over silly-Sienna, and the plot gives a nod to that kind of thing. You won't be seeing her in any Richard Curtis films I can tell you now.
Rhys plays a cool DJ.Melbourne Mods didn't suffer the deprivation of London's.
We had a cool DJ and in 1964 all hip 5th-Formers had transistor radios in their schoolbags so we could listen daily at 4:30 pm. Melbourne's cool DJ was
Mr Stan 'The Man' Rofe.

He played the hip stuff.

Stan would have just loved
The Boat That Rocked.
You will love it too.
Don't get up when the credits roll, sit and let
roll over you like a train.

Corey Maxson Tucker says:
"In 1965 Frank Sinatra was slated to record this but cancelled due to illness. Lucky for us, the studio and orchestra were booked and paid for allowing back-up singer Lorraine Ellison to step in.
Ellison unequivocally slays this track. Ellison's version starts with a calculated and soothing build up. The Janis Joplin cover crashes right into the pathos. Yet both renditions stop you in your tracks – Ellison and Joplin display a rare power to erupt in an
utter and desperate longing.
If these songs don’t make you emote and empathize with the singers,
then you are clearly dead inside and have a heart two sizes too small."

I am going to see this Mod-fest movie again.